Celtic Thunder fans and the world of music in general are in mourning tonight following the death of George Donaldson.
The Celtic Thunder star suffered a massive heart attack yesterday at his home in Glasgow. He was 46.
Donaldson has a unique place in the hearts of Celtic Thunder fans. He was there from the start and was seen as the rock on which the group was built. He was older than the other band members, married with a family and so more mature and settled.
Sean Potts, one of the founding members of the Chieftains and a towering figure in Irish music, has died at the age of 83.
He was in the vanguard of the movement to rediscover traditional Irish music in the 1950s.
Potts was born in Dublin in 1930 and started playing the tin whistle at an early age. By his late teens he was one of Ireland’s most accomplished players and caught the attention of Seán Ó Riadá who formed the musical ensemble, Ceoltoiri Chualann.
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Francis O’Neill is an Australian with a ‘royal’ Irish heritage. She is now working on a musical based on the story of an Irish girl and Spanish captain set in the 16th century. Here she tells us why she wrote it.
I have never felt “Australian “. This is probably due to being raised by Scotch/Irish parents. Music was a part of my feeling different. My family still sing together, no families I know do this.
Having no extended family, my mother thought it important to tell stories of her family, childhood and youth. She wanted me to be grateful, for her childhood was tumultuous and dangerous, mine was youthful, naïve and safe. So I came to understand why she left Scotland.
Pat Berschied and 39 of her friends paid $10,000 for a private concert with Paul Byrom. It was to help Paul’s Kickstarter project to fund a show on the PBS channel. Here Pat tells us why Paul means so much to her and her friends.
How long have you been a fan of Paul’s and why do you like him so much?
I’ve been a fan of Paul since I saw him in the 1st Celtic Thunder DVD, but he solidified my loyalty when I first saw him sing live in Waukegan, Il in April of 2008.
I’m 61 years old and have always been a sucker for great singers, and Paul fit that bill perfectly. When he sang “You Raise Me Up”, a song that I really thought had been way overdone by far too many people, I was mesmerized.
He sings every note with such heart and passion that you can’t help but feel it in the audience. I could go on and on, but the story is always the same. When I hear someone sing with heart, I’m a fan for life, and Paul always performs from the heart.
Paul also puts his personality into a lot of his stage performances and that comes through as well. He’s never been on auto-pilot while on stage or in his interactions with fans. He’s always attentive to the person he’s speaking to at the moment.
How did you get the idea to join with your friends to raise the $10,000?
In this video Paul Byrom talks to Pat Kehoe about why he used the Kickstarter Project to ask his fans to help him finance a special concert on the PBS Channel in America.
Major Irish groups like Celtic Thunder and Celtic Woman used PBS concerts to reach a wider audience at the start of their careers.
Byrom, who’s a former member of Celtic Thunder, believes he needs to do the same to achieve the kind of success he wants as a solo artist.